On Friday Julie texted me asking me to go to her lake ‘shack’ for the weekend, so of course I accepted. I didn’t know that her life had literally fallen apart in during the summer and she had just not said anything to me.

Right after Julie and I took our Ochem final she went home to Arlington and I stayed the night at my grandparents so I could drive to Nebraska the next day. We said our ‘see ya laters’ and promised to call all summer. I kept to the promise when I got super bored driving the next day so I called Julie. Then I called her again when I got home and in that time span, he grandma, whom she was incredibly close to, died. We did holiday stuff with her for both Thanksgiving and Easter, so I knew how tight their relationship was and my heart absolutely ached for Julie.

Then we both started our jobs and we kept calling, but our conversations got shorter. We both just worked a lot and didn’t have much else to discuss. Or so I thought.

When I got to Lake Whitney, I saw that her ‘shack’ was small, but it was an adorable tiny house that was beautifully furnished. As soon as I got my bikini on, Julie had me out of the jet ski and we were speeding across the lake. I love the water and I love jet skiing and all of my worries melted away. Not that I had that many worries in the first place.

When we got into a private, calm little cove Julie turned off the jet ski and unloaded her summer.

The day after her grandma died, her boyfriend from Tech got home and wanted to see her right away. Before Julie could tell Rodney about her grandmother, Rodney broke down and revealed that he had been unfaithful. I guess he had been lying about not drinking or partying. The football team got to his head and he got super drunk and made out with two different girls in one night. In true Julie fashion, she comforted him and told him that he was not his mistake and that one mistake did not define him. That’s the person that Julie is. She gets cheated on and she comforts him. Of course he felt like an even bigger piece of shit when she told him her grandma had just died.

Fast forward a few weeks and Julie is still torn up about everything and she goes to the doctor to herself checked out after she had that huge stress-induced weight loss that had her looking like a had spent the summer in a concentration camp instead of at college. The doctors told her she would never be able to have kids. Her dramatic weight loss and stress had made her infertile.

Then Julie finally took the advice I had been giving her for a year and she went to see a therapist. Julie says she likes her. All of this was unloaded while we were in the little peaceful cove straddling the jet ski.She asked how I’ve been and I said I’m amazing as always. Of course, in true Julie fashion, she sees right through my bullshit. I manage to deflect into what I assumed was safe territory: Julie’s relationship with her sister.

Julie’s sister Sarah is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. She goes to law school at NYU and works in the fashion patent industry for Louboutin. Talk about a career. Anyways, Julie launches into this huge story about her sister. So her sister was facetiming with some of the friends she made when she studied abroad in Switzerland while she was and undergrad at A&M. Everything was peachy until she saw a guy in the back of the frame and asked about him. He is Scott from Scotland and he and Sarah have an instant connection. They talk for a few days and apparently realize that they are soul mates. He gets her name tattooed on him. She quits her job. She flies to Scotland that night. She meets his family. She falls even more in love. They get like pre-engaged or something. This all happens in one freaking week.

I mean what else can possibly happen to her life??

After she unloaded everything I was absolutely stunned so we just kept jet skiing. My brain could not comprehend everything that had happened to her. She didn’t tell me any of this in our multiple phone calls, but that’s just the way Julie is. I love her to death. She tells me I’m her only friend besides her sister, but that’s because she doesn’t let anyone in. If she did, man that girl would charm the world.

We had an amazing time at the lake. Julie took a huge face plant on the wakeboard and I wasn’t able to get up for more than a second. We went sailing with her dad and I worked the tiller while Julie worked the gibbons and her dad told us how to not tip the boat over. Honestly, sailing was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I loved the thrill of the boat almost tipping over and all of us leaning our weight out of the side to keep from tipping. Yelling, “prepare to come about” gave me a sense of accomplishment when we managed to turn on a dime.

Of course her family was amazing. Her mom made me a pumpkin pie. They had tons of food and we made smores and cookies and everything was perfect. We had ‘lake church’ which was a Bible study on the dock next to us and the theme was Jesus walking on water. What could be more appropriate?

Julie said something to me that really hit me in the heart. She said the most attractive quality she sees in a human being is passion. Passion for life and love and whatever they choose to do. And she said that one of the many things she loves about me is how passionate I am about whatever I do. That may have been the greatest compliment that I have ever received. Julie thinks she stresses too much to actually be passionate, but I know better.

Julie makes me feel honored to be her friend, and while I know that that isn’t exactly healthy, I love her so much that I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes Grace thinks that Julie takes advantage of me because sometimes Julie avoids me or dodges my questions. But Grace doesn’t see the side of me that Julie sees. Julie knows, and with that, I dodge just as many questions from her as she does with me. And I have those days where I just want to pretend and not even look at anyone who knows my secrets, and I avoid Julie. I think we are good for each other, mainly because we are both working on ourselves, helping each other through shit, and pulling each other closer to God in different ways.


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